Mendh ki chapai is a resist style of printing that was practised locally in the town of Sanganer for the tribal Meena, Jat and Mali women. The wax resist enjoyed a similarity with
dabu printing (Bagru village near Jaipur is famed for it), but unlike dabu which utilises mud as the resist, Mendh Ki Chappai utilised the more complex and ardous process of using beeswax as the resist material. The other special feature of the
mendh was the fragrance of the fabric which was printed using beeswax/Mendh, a pleasant aroma, which was retained by the fabric for several washes. The beeswax for resist was procured from the forests, sourced from the Bhil tribal’s in exchange for money or goods, clothes or grain. In brief, the wax resisted the printed area and traditionally the colour palette was of a deep red combined with an indigo or black. With the first colour being wax resisted being the deep red colour, followed by the indigo or black colour, either in the indigo vat or mineral black colour.
The origin and practise of Mendh printing is not clearly traceable, even though a very extensive library search was undertaken, but it seems to be unique to Sanganer as any information available mentions this geographic area. Sanganer is a famous printing centre and have recently acquired it geographical indication act of the small delicate floral spread that has famed the small town of printing.
Sanganer is home to chippa community of printers and dyers.
Chippa literally meaning the person who prints with th...
CHAPAI, FLOORING, Rajasthan
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